Guidelines on pass renewal for up to two years for those whose work permits are expiring between July and December 2021, even if they do not meet the renewal criteria; a six-month retention scheme for experienced construction WPHs, and more.

The Singapore Government is introducing new measures to help companies in the Construction, Marine Shipyard and Process (CMP) sectors retain their existing Work Permit Holders (WPHs) and facilitate the inflow of new WPHs. "These new measures will ensure that the CMP sectors continue to meet manpower needs for their operations, preserve core capabilities and emerge stronger from COVID-19", the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) announced

According to the Ministry, the Government will support all firms in the CMP sectors through the following measures:

  1. WPHs whose work permits are expiring between July and December 2021 will be allowed to renew their permits for up to two years, even if they do not meet the renewal criteria. This includes WPHs who are reaching the maximum period of employment, or who are reaching the maximum employment age. Firms also do not need to maintain at least 10% of their WPHs as higher skilled workers.
  2. From July 2021, the validity of In-Principle Approvals (IPAs) of all work pass holders, including Employment Passes, S Passes and Work Permits, who are unable to enter Singapore due to border control measures, will be extended by up to one year.
  3. The Government will partner the Singapore Contractors Association Ltd (SCAL) to introduce a six-month retention scheme (1 September 2021 till 28 February 2022) for experienced construction WPHs whose previous employment has been terminated.
  4. There is a minimum Period of Employment (POE) requirement for WPHs to qualify for Man-Year Entitlement (MYE) waiver. From 1 October 2021 to 31 March 2022, this requirement will be removed for new and renewal WPH from non-traditional sources (NTS)* and the People’s Republic of China (PRC) for firms in the Construction and Process Sectors.
    *'NTS' refers to India, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Bangladesh, Myanmar and Philippines.

In line with this, Dr Tan See Leng, Minister for Manpower, said in a Facebook post: "To prevent future disruptions to business operations in the longer term, I strongly urge all CMP firms to start on their transformation journeys today. Companies can also tap on technology to reduce manpower reliance, and redesign jobs to attract more locals. 

"The Government will continue to support firms’ transformation efforts through programmes such as the Job Redesign initiative under the Productivity Solutions Grant, and the Job Redesign Reskilling Programme."

Photo / Minister for Manpower Dr Tan See Leng's Facebook page

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